Recently, my husband and I became Godparents again. By the way, is it Godparent or godparent?? Anyhow, we are so very thankful about it. This child is also the first grandchild on my husband’s side. My husband comes from a family of three boys. He is the middle child. His older brother unfortunately passed away at age 38. He and his wife did not have children. We never had kids. His youngest brother, who is two years younger than me, is first to have a child on this side of our family. To say this was a special day is not exactly expressing what true joy this day was about.
Preceding the sacrament, it made me approach the idea of Godparenting differently. My husband and I are older and wiser in our faith since the last time we baptized a child. Our awareness to our faith is broader and stronger. Coming into this day and then it being first child celebrated, really drew some new perspective.
One new item we were given in our baptism certification class, that we were not aware of before, is what the role of the Godparent is about. The focus is not the child, but on the parents. Yes, that’s right! Did you get that? And….the second new item is that the parents do not have to be believers! That was another zinger! I’ve never come across that situation before so I never knew that could be the case.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters sure changes the game plan. Easier to teach a child than an adult. When I say teach in no way do I mean I come from the angle that we are all knowing. It means that whatever knowledge we do have,we are obligated to share with the parents, for their sake and the Godchild.
The good position is the desire the parent(s) are already showing for their child to be raised in the Catholic Church. This is the starting point. I think if you are not a practicing Catholic, many come into the baptism with misconceptions and misunderstandings.
The odd case for my husband and I is that most of our Godchildren, except one, live in another city. Chances to have one on one conversations are less. How do we guide? Any chance given is what I’m receiving. Always be an example.
Must try to be mindful of it and pray before visits occur. Asking the Holy Spirit to use your voice and heart for things to be said and not said. Conviction will allow you to speak easy and with love.
It’s not that your influence isn’t on the child too. I know we still enjoy treating our Godchildren as our own, sharing our support, giving gifts or reminders not just on Christmas or birthdays. But throughout the year, send reminders to the parent(s) as well.
When you reflect on it, what you end up acting upon with the baptized family, is what our Church reminds us daily. Our Church is the Body of Christ, baptized believers, working out their salvation with fear and trembling. Reaching out and always pointing to Christ. We do our best and ask Jesus to admonish us where we go wrong.+++